Already profitable, Evernote raises $50 million

Ronny Kerr · July 13, 2011 · Short URL:

Series D round from Sequoia Capital and Morgenthaler Ventures to speed product development

Evernote, the mobile and desktop app for organizing everything in your life, announced Wednesday that it has completed a $50 million round of financing led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Morgenthaler Ventures. Sequoia also led Evernote’s $20 million Series C last October. With today’s funding, the company has now closed nearly $100 million since its founding in 2007.

Roelof Botha, the Sequoia partner who previously served as observer on Evernote’s board of directors, has been upgraded to full member.

For the uninitiated, Evernote is a little hard to understand, mostly because the service is so open to multiple kinds of use cases. Basically, it lets you take notes. Whether that note is in the form of a text file, photo, audio sample, Web page, screenshot or to-do list, Evernote lets you save it.

The rest--powerful organizing, indexing and searching of those notes--is obvious. Evernote is so magical that it lets users do things like search printed and handwritten text contained in images.

There’s a million ways to use Evernote, which is why the company has to suggest some ideas, like keeping track of travel itineraries or taking notes in meetings. Though it’s hard to “get” at first, Evernote has grown to over 11 million users, who access the application from their computers, smartphones and/or tablets.

Evernote is already profitable and it still has all the cash from its last two funding rounds still in the warchest. In fact, we learned in April that Evernote is seeing $1 million in monthly revenue, with 26,000 more people signing up every day, driving revenue higher. CEO Phil Libin outright says that the company doesn’t really need new funding, but it’s taking it because it can.

As every good entrepreneur knows, you take money when you can get it, not when you need it. Libin says that, besides plans for accelerated product development, a couple acquisitions might be in the cards.

Also, he has some interesting ambitions that go beyond the prospects of successful exits:

Remember that scene in The Social Network when Sean Parker says,

“A million dollars isn’t cool, you know what’s cool? A billion dollars.”?

Well, we don’t think a billion dollars is all that cool either. You know what’s really cool? Making a hundred year company.

That’s a pretty big deal; not many companies make it anywhere close, but we sort of signed up for the task when we started talking about earning your lifetime trust. You plan on living a long time, right?

So when we make any big decision, whether in fund-raising, or product design, or partnership strategy, we ask, “would this make it more or less likely that we’ll be around in a hundred years”, and if the answer is less we don’t do it. This financing is just one more solid step in building the hundred year company.

It might sound outlandish, but it’s really not that far-fetched. Tons of companies still around today--Nintendo, The New York Times, Macy’s--were founded in the 1800s, and we know of companies even older than that. Maybe we’ll be using Evernote to organize and remember all the things in our life even in the year 2111. (A CEO can dream, I suppose.)

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Our goal at Evernote is to give everyone the ability to easily capture any moment, idea, inspiration, or experience whenever they want using whichever device or platform they find most convenient, and then to make all of that information easy to find.

And we’ve done just that. From creating text and ink notes, to snapshots of whiteboards and wine labels, to clips of webpages, Evernote users can capture anything from their real and digital lives and find it all anytime.

Evernote is an independent, privately held company headquartered in Mountain View, California. Major investors include Sequoia CapitalMorgenthaler VenturesTroika Dialog, and DOCOMO Capital.



Phil Libin

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